Frequently Asked Questions
I used to love watching roller derby on TV! Is it like that?
Yes and no. The fast-paced action, body checks, and whip assists are all still very much part of the game. However, flat track roller derby rules and the different physics of skating on a flat surface, versus a banked track, make the strategies and game play very different. Also, in its later years, televised roller derby was staged, like WWE-style wrestling. Flat track roller derby is a legitimate sport, and the hits, spills, and competition are all 100 percent real.
I bet you throw a lot of elbows, right?
Not unless a skater wants to spend some quality time in the penalty box! To keep the game play safe and competitive, there are rules governing how and when players can make contact with each other. Throwing elbows, pushing or tripping opposing skaters, and “clothes-lining” opponents by linking arms with your teammate are among the prohibited actions that can send skaters to the penalty box. Like other sports, more serious offenses like fighting or intentional tripping can get a skater kicked out of the game.
So what are you allowed to do?
There are still plenty of ways a blocker can send their opponent into the front row! The legal contact zone is between the shoulders and the mid-thigh. While it is legal for a skater to initiate a block with they back, it is illegal to hit an opposing skater in the back. Check out the full WFTDA rules.